On page SEO, is the process of ensuring that single pages on your website are optimised. However, on page SEO and its elements aren’t to be confused with on-site SEO, as on-site refers to the optimisation of the whole website instead of just one page.
The Difference between On-Page and Off-Page SEO
If you’ve heard the term on page SEO, then you’ve probably heard the name 'off page', and you might be wondering what the difference is. The difference between on page and off page is that off page optimisation is mainly concerned with the optimisation of pages of your website through off-page methods such as link earning and building. On page SEO involves all the means in which you would optimise a single page on your site.
Why On-Page SEO is Important
Understanding and pursuing all the elements of on-page SEO is essential as it will ultimately determine how well individual pages on your website perform in search engines. In addition to optimising your page, it can also help improve other ranking factors such as user experience (UX) to help drive traffic to your site.
Similar to the other factors of Search Engine Optimisation, on page SEO techniques and strategies are always changing and evolving with new developments and search algorithm changes. This is why it is so important to always stay up to date with the most innovative strategies and effective elements of on-page SEO in order to achieve the best results.
On-Page SEO Ranking Factors
In order for you to get a better understanding of on page SEO, it helps for you to understand what on factors on page optimisation consists of. The following section is comprised of the main ranking factors of on page SEO which if optimised will help to boost your ranking in the search engine results pages.
SEO content is an integral part of on-page optimisation; it can help you to optimise your page for target keywords, LSI keywords and search queries in which you want your page to rank higher for. The ways in which content SEO can optimise your webpages is by ensuring the following factors of your content:
Length – ensure that your material on your website isn’t too thin, thin content is unlikely to rank for your target keywords or to be indexed by search engine crawlers. Instead, you want to ensure that your content provides the user with everything that they would need to know about the subject or title that your content is about. It also helps to think about the intention behind the search query, for instance, if someone is searching for ‘black lace-up boots’, think about what the intention is behind the search. Do they want to buy a pair of black lace up boots? Do they want a blog post about everything that there is about black lace up boots? Alternatively, do they want to view pictures of different types of black lace boots? So base your page content around that.
Unique – you also want to ensure that any content you produce on your website isn’t duplicated or that it doesn’t appear anywhere else on your website as this will create a duplicate content issue. This can happen when you publish an article on your site, and it is featured on another site for instance, or if a page or paragraph on your website appears more than once on different pages. Although duplicate content will not see you getting a penalty from a search engine crawler, search engines such as Google do prefer to put relevant, unique content in higher positions in the SERPs.
Readability – there’s no point in spending lots of time on a piece of content if it isn’t coherent. If your sentences don’t make any sense, or the topics that you’ve grouped together don’t follow on nicely from one another or have no relevance, then you may want to reconsider your content plan. Instead content should be easy to read, in-depth and knowledgeable of the subject. As well as this depending on the subject matter, it would help if you also considered aiming for a score of between 50 to 70 on the Flesch–Kincaid readability score.
Authoritative – if you’re seeking advice on any serious or potentially life-changing or threatening advice, then you want to ensure that the person who is behind the content has the authority write about that subject. Therefore, if you’re writing about legal or financial advice, it’s good practice that it comes from someone with enough authority to talk on that subject. However, if you do feel as if your website warrants information from an authoritative figure, then you can always hire someone with the correct qualifications, and this will boost your authority in the eyes of search engines.
Metadata refers to both the Meta title and the Meta description of a page.
Meta title – Otherwise known as a title tag is an HTML element of the page which describes the title of the page. In the Google searches, your meta title will appear as the clickable title at the top of a web browser when someone visits your page, at the top of your result on a search engine or when your website is linked to or shared across social media. Generally, for better on-page optimisation, you should aim for your meta title to be between 50 – 60 characters long including spaces, hyphens or Sheffer strokes.
Meta description – Otherwise known as meta tags are also an HTML element of a page which details the description of the page. Similar to the meta title, your meta description will appear in the SERPs just under your meta title and when your page is shared on social media. Your meta description should contain at least one of your target keywords in which you are hoping to rank in Google for. In order to optimise your meta description, you should aim for a meta description which is within 160 characters including spaces and any special characters.
When creating metadata for your webpages, it is important to remember the following:
- Don’t over optimise or result to keyword stuffing your metadata as search engines will end up not showing your title and will instead pick a piece of text from your page that it considers to be the most relevant.
- Remember whom you’re writing for and what type of audience you want to attract. You want your metadata to be positive and make your audience click on your result over your competitors.
- Don’t go over the character limit. If you go over the character limit, then your meta title and description will be cut off and won’t appear in its full integrity, which can appear unappealing to audiences.
Headings and Alt Tags
Heading tags – Heading tags are just what you think they are, they’re pieces of code that you put into your content to show search engines what the headings are essential sections of your pages are. Heading tags range from
<h6> although you will only have one
<h1> tag on your website as that is the most important heading on your site and will allow search engines to see what the heading of your page is.
Alt tags – Unfortunately, search engine crawlers don’t have the ability to read images; therefore alt tags are code that you allow you to tell search engine spiders what is in the image that you have put into your content. Ideally, you want to ensure that your alt tag and image is in relation to your content.
Your URL is the name of your website and any pages that are on your site, and will appear between the meta title and meta description on the SERPs for instance:
URLs and in particular the URL structure of a page is able to give both audiences and search engines information as to what the information on the page will contain, for instance, if we look at the URL structure of this current page:
Then this gives us a good indication that it will be about on-page SEO related to our SEO Checker tool.
When optimising your web pages, you want to make sure that your URLs strike a balance between being over optimised and under optimised. As well as this, your URLs should be easy to type, and not contain any hyphens or uppercase letters which could affect the user’s ability to input your URL into the term address bar.
Internal and Outbound Linking
Linking is an essential strategy of any SEO technique, whether it’s learning how to create content to earn links (off page SEO) or whether it’s internal and outbound linking which are two crucial on page optimisation strategies.
Internal linking – internal links are the links on your page which take users to other related pages on your website and ultimately keep audiences on your site for longer as well as showing relevance, relation and authority to other pages on your website. Internal linking provides search engines with an insight into the structure of your site and sets out a clearly defined hierarchy of the pages.
Outbound linking – outbound links are links on your web pages which link out to other websites and online resources which could be relevant or helpful to the users on your site. Outbound linking will not only give the web page that you are linking to some authority, but it will also help to provide you with some influence too. By linking to sites with expertise and knowledge of what you’re talking about in your content, Google will then have a better understanding of what your website and your content is about, as well as showing it to be trustworthy because you are linking out to an E-A-T page.
Although you must ensure that all of your links, whether internal or external go to the correct place, instead of throwing a 404 error, as broken links affect the overall on page SEO of your webpages.
Since the emergence of smartphones and tablets, the way that we view webpages has dramatically altered, with many popular websites getting more visits from customers who are using their smartphone than their laptop or desktop computer. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that your web page is mobile friendly and optimised for users on devices such as phones and tablets.
That’s why it’s essential that you ensure the following for mobile users:
- Buttons and CTAs are big enough
- You can view the whole page
- The text is broken up with images
- Media can be displayed on mobiles
Site speed is the time that it takes from landing on your website until users can interact with the content and pages that are on your website. Undoubtedly, a slow site speed where it may take a while for your site to load will affect the overall bounce rate and exit rate on your website if it doesn’t load fast enough for your users' liking. That’s why it’s vital that you regularly check the site speed of your webpage and try to get it as fast as it can possibly be.